Sorting Out The Facts: Common Solar Energy Myths
It probably seems like solar panels are very much a modern technology, so it may surprise you that the technology to harness solar energy was first developed late in the 1800s. Wild, right? We find it promising that people have been trying to develop and grow solar technology for centuries, even if it is only in recent few decades that it became usable on a large enough scale as to power a home or business. Still, solar power has been around long enough now to develop a few inaccurate ideas that seem to linger. It is high time to correct those wrong assumptions. Here are a few of the most common misconceptions about solar energy and an explanation for why they are wrong!
1. Solar panels only produce energy on sunny days.
False! Solar panel developers understand that they will not be working in perfectly ideal conditions all the time; they will be expected to work in the rain, sleet, and snow as well as on standard cloudy days. Your solar array will work to absorb as much sunlight as possible even if there is only the low light of a cloudy day. In addition, solar panels are generally installed on roofs for optimal sunlight absorption. The angle of the roof, and therefore the panels themselves, means that snow and debris usually slides off rather than blocking the panels. All this adds up to a solar array that will generate energy even on days with inclement weather.
2. Solar panels need a lot of upkeep.
Again, this is not the case! Solar panels are built to handle the wind, snow, and other small debris that storms can kick up. You will want to have your solar array inspected on occasion, just to ensure everything is in proper working order. Plus, New York does get some pretty heavy snows; if the snow doesn’t slide off your solar panels, you may need to help it along to clear your panels. Otherwise, your solar power system is made to just keep working away for years to come!
3. My roof will be damaged where my solar panels are installed.
Stop and think about this for a moment. Do you really think solar panel systems would continue to go on roofs across the nation if they were causing a great deal of damage? Yes, there will be a few holes drilled into your roof to attach the panels, but all holes will be properly sealed and protected. RGS Energy’s technicians stay up to date on the best practices for installation so your solar power system will be up to code and your roof will stay in good repair.
4. A solar panel system is too noisy for home use.
Definitely not true! Solar panels do not produce any sort of byproducts as they convert sunlight to energy, and that includes noise. The inverter converting AC to DC may generate a slight humming sound, but that will be a quiet sound, if it is even noticeable. Any noise coming from your solar power system will be about as noticeable as the sound your HVAC system makes while running.
5. A solar array will make my home worth less.
Just the opposite! Installing a solar array on your home is likely to increase the overall value, not decrease it. It may have been true in the past, when solar panels were new technology only recently available to the public, but today, having a solar array will pretty much always make your home worth more. According to a study run by the Department of Energy, home buyers were willing to pay an average of $15,000 for a home with a photovoltaic system. And that is a nation wide average, so that number may increase depending on where you live. Overall, though, you can generally expect that a solar power system is a good long term investment in terms of home value, not just energy savings.
6. Solar power systems are too expensive.
Not so much, anymore! Maybe paying for a solar array was a bit too spendy for the average household back in the late 1970s, but today, that’s generally not the case. In an effort to make solar energy more affordable and help more households make the switch, there are plenty of financing options, solar incentives, and energy savings that can help you pay for a solar array and enjoy the savings for years to come. With an average lifespan of 25 years (and growing), you can expect to see a pretty darn good return on your investment.
Of course, those are just the most common concerns we hear. If you have additional questions or concerns, let us give you the details so you can make an informed decision. Contact the RGS Energy team to learn more about switching to solar energy.
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